Hard to believe that I'll be flying down to Clearwater in a little over a week for this year's edition of spring training. I'm in the process of organizing my notes in an attempt to identify some of the plotlines that need to be explored early in camp.
Last year, nearly 1/5th of the money that the Phillies paid in player salaries went to somebody who was on the disabled list. Phillies players combined to log more than 1,400 days on the disabled list, at a combined cost of about $32.98 million. In other words, about 19.1 percent of the team's opening day payroll ended up as dead money. Ryan Howard spent 92 days on the disabled list while being paid about $109,000 per day in salary, for a total of about $10.1 million.
Teams can carry insurance on player contracts, but the practice is not as common as you might think because of the cost of the premiums that such policies usually require.
As you can see below, the percentage of payroll investment lost due to injury has increased in each of the last four seasons: